Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
  Idleness is a constant sin, and labour is a duty. Idleness is but the devil’s home for temptation, and unprofitable, distracting musings.
Richard Baxter.    
  Such men lose their intellectual powers for want of exerting them; and, having trifled away youth, are reduced to the necessity of trifling away age.
Lord Bolingbroke.    
  He has nothing to prevent him but too much idleness, which I have observed fills up a man’s time much more completely, and leaves him less his own master, than any sort of employment whatsoever.
Edmund Burke: To R. Shackleton, May 1, 1768.    
  Idleness is the badge of gentry, the bane of body and mind, the nurse of naughtiness, the stepmother of discipline, the chief author of all mischief, one of the seven deadly sins, the cushion upon which the devil chiefly reposes, and a great cause not only of melancholy, but of many other diseases: for the mind is naturally active; and if it be not occupied about some honest business, it rushes into mischief or sinks into melancholy.
Robert Burton.    
  If you have but an hour, will you improve that hour, instead of idling it away?
Lord Chesterfield.    
  Some one, in casting up his accounts, put down a very large sum per annum for his idleness. But there is another account more awful than that of our expenses, in which many will find that their idleness has mainly contributed to the balance against them. From its very inaction, idleness ultimately becomes the most active cause of evil; as a palsy is more to be dreaded than a fever. The Turks have a proverb which says that the devil tempts all other men, but that idle men tempt the devil.
Charles Caleb Colton: Lacon.    
  Troubles spring from idleness, and grievous toils from needless ease.  7
  We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly.  8
  Children generally hate to be idle; all the care then is, that their busy humour should be constantly employed in something of use to them.
John Locke.    
  That period includes more than a hundred sentences that might be writ to express multiplication of nothings, and all the fatiguing perpetual business of having no business to do.
Alexander Pope.    
  In my opinion, idleness is no less the pest of society, than of solitude. Nothing contracts the mind, nothing engenders trifles, tales, backbiting, slander, and falsities, so much as being shut up in a room, opposite each other, and reduced to no other occupation than the necessity of continual chattering. When all are employed, they speak only when they have something to say; but if you are doing nothing, you must absolutely talk incessantly, which of all constraints is the most troublesome and the most dangerous. I dare go even further, and maintain, that to render a circle truly agreeable, every one must be not only doing something, but something which requires a little attention.  11
  A thousand evils do afflict that man which hath to himself an idle and unprofitable carcass.
  It is no more possible for an idle man to keep together a certain stock of knowledge, than it is possible to keep together a stock of ice exposed to the meridian sun. Every day destroys a fact, a relation, or an influence; and the only way of preserving the bulk and value of the pile is by constantly adding to it.
Rev. Sydney Smith.    
  Nor is excess the only thing by which sin breaks men in their health, and the comfortable enjoyment of themselves; but many are also brought to a very ill and languishing habit of body by mere idleness; and idleness is both itself a great sin, and the cause of many more.
Robert South.    
  An idle person is like one that is dead; unconcerned in the changes and necessities of the world.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  So long as idleness is quite shut out from our lives, all the sins of wantonness, softness, and effeminacy are prevented; and there is but little room for temptation.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  The idle, who are neither wise for this world nor the next, are emphatically fools at large.
John Tillotson.    
  Idleness and luxury bring forth poverty and want; and this tempts men to injustice, and that causeth enmity and animosity.
John Tillotson.    
  The contemplation of things that are impertinent to us, and do not concern us, are but a more specious idleness.
John Tillotson.    

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